Prescribed burns set for the Cariboo


Alkali Resource Management Ltd. and the Esketem’c First Nation, with the assistance of the BC Wildfire Service, plan to conduct a series of prescribed burns near Mayfield Lake between Wednesday, April 25 and May 4, weather conditions permitting.

This series of prescribed burns will cover about 60 hectares in the Mayfield Lake area, which is about 10 kilometres north of Alkali Lake and west of Dog Creek Road.

Smoke from these fires may be visible from nearby communities. The decision on when to proceed with these burns will depend on weather and site conditions. Such burns are only conducted when conditions are suitable and will allow for quick smoke dissipation. Fire crews will carefully monitor the fires at all times.

A prescribed fire is an intentionally ignited fire that is planned and managed by a certified “burn boss”. The burn boss is responsible for ensuring that the initial burn conditions are favourable and that the fires are extinguished once the prescribed burns are completed.

These prescribed burns will help restore natural grassland ecosystems and are supported by the ministry’s Ecosystem Restoration Program. Historically, grasslands in the Cariboo-Chilcotin were renewed through frequent, low-intensity ground fires. Such fires prevented tree encroachment, rejuvenated understory plants and helped maintained more open grasslands and forests with large trees.

The reintroduction of managed, low-intensity ground fires to these grasslands is intended to restore and maintain the traditional grassland plant communities that are native to these areas. These managed fires also reduce fuel loads (accumulations of flammable materials) to help decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

These resource management fires are part of an ongoing ecosystem restoration program administered by the provincial government through the Cariboo’s Ecosystem Restoration Steering Committee, in consultation with First Nations, local ranchers, local forest licensees, outdoors organizations, the Fraser Basin Council, the B.C. Wildlife Federation and the Cariboo-Chilcotin Conservation Society.